Though the first thought that springs to mind on hearing the name Sky Larkin may be the sombre and sedate title track from Mic Christopher's first and only album, after a few listens to this Leeds trio's debut, it will be but a distant memory, crushed by the tremendously upbeat pop punk that dominates all twelve tracks on offer here. With The Golden Spike, Sky Larkin have succeeded in merging the raw fuzzy sound of their always distorted guitars with interesting rhythms and pop sensible riffs.

Katie Harkin's forceful vocals run the show, resembling Norwegian punkstress Ida Maria, until forced to crack into almost Bjorkish shrieks. It's not hugely surprising that this debut album has drawn comparisons to 90s girl groups Sleeper and Elastica, as the bending descending guitar solo of Beeline, coupled with a dominant frontwoman, is reminiscent of that kind of 90s era Britpop. It has to be said though, Sky Larkin are an altogether different animal, much more raw and rough-edged than such predecessors. Sharing producer John Goodmanson with Fight Like Apes (as well as Blondie and Sleater-Kinney), keyboard driven tracks Somersault and Keepsakes are far from dissimilar to our own home-grown electro-punks, despite lacking their air of madness and anarchy.

It's a shame that the catchiest tune here (Pica) is a mere 1:30 minutes long, or perhaps that's what gives it its edge. Though in general these are short, snappy numbers, the consistent fizzy, bubbly yet dissonant sound sometimes seems unending, making the clearer guitar riff of Matador or the relatively sparse chorus of Octopus '08 a welcome rarity. Still, a skilful blend of discordant guitar and toe-tapping beats.